TRUK STATE COURT TRIAL DIVISION
Cite as Suda v. Trust Territory Of The Pacific,
3 FSM Intrm. 12 (Truk S. Ct. Tr. 1985).

[3 FSM Intrm. 12]
SEMARY SUDA,
Plaintiff,

v.

TRUST TERRITORY
OF THE PACIFIC ISLANDS,
Defendant.

CIVIL ACTION NO. 90-85

ORDER DENYING MOTION TO DISMISS

OPINION
Before Soukichi Fritz
Chief Justice
Truk State Court
October 29, 1985

APPEARANCES
          For the Plaintiff:          Jeanne H. Rayphand
                                               Attorney General's office
                                               Moen, Truk   96942

          For the Defendant:     Charles Scott
                                               Assistant Attorney General
                                               Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands
                                               Saipan, CM 96950

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HEADNOTES
Transition of Authority; Courts
     According to Secretarial Order No. 3039, 5(a), all cases against the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands and the High Commissioner that were

[3 FSM Intrm. 13]

filed in the FSM at the time the Truk State Court was certified will continue to remain within the exclusive jurisdiction of the High Court.  Those cases filed after certification are not within the jurisdiction of the High Court.  Suda v. Trust Territory, 3 FSM Intrm. 12, 14 (Truk S. Ct. Tr. 1985).

Sovereign Immunity
     The Trust Territory Government is not immune from suit in the Truk  State Court because the High Court has overturned the doctrine of sovereign immunity accepted by that Court in the past. Suda v. Trust Territory, 3 FSM Intrm. 12, 14 (Truk S. Ct. Tr. 1985).
 
*        *       *       *

COURT'S OPINION
SOUKICHI FRITZ, Chief Justice:
     A hearing was held on October 7, 1985 on a motion to dismiss the action by the defendant, Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands ("TTPI").  Attorneys for both parties were present.

     In the motion to dismiss, the defendant TTPI contends that the above-entitled case against the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands be dismissed on the grounds that this Court does not have jurisdiction over suits against the TTPI, the exclusive jurisdiction of which lies with the High Court of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, under the terms of Secretarial Order No. 3039, Section 5 and of 6 TTC Section 251 et seq.

     The plaintiff asserts that Section 3 of Secretarial Order 3039  delegated the judicial functions of the Government of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands to the Federated States of Micronesia, subject to the limitations contained in that Order.

     The only limitations were: (1) that the certain cases pending at the time of certification would remain in the Trust Territory Court and not be transferred; and (2) certain appellate functions.  The exception for suit against the Government of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands or High Commissioner refers only to the cases already filed and pending at the time of certification.

FACTS
     Plaintiff, Semary Suda, was hired as a part-time instructor on Fanapenges, Truk, in October of 1979 by the Department of Education, Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands.  In February of 1980 he was transferred to Moen and appointed as a full-time instructor.  In August of 1980, plaintiff was converted to permanent employment status and continued to be employed with the Department of Education on Moen, Truk until October 1984.

     Plaintiff claims that he is entitled to payment from defendant for a housing allowance from April 1980 to June, 1981 at the maximum rate of $2,200

[3 FSM Intrm. 14]

per year in the sum of $2,600 and from June, 1981 to October , 1984 at the maximum rate of $1,800 per year in the sum of $6,525 for the total amount of $9,125.  The defendant has refused and continues to refuse to pay the plaintiff the transfer allowance, the temporary lodging allowance, and the housing allowance, to which the plaintiff is entitled by law.

     Those cases against the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands and the High Commissioner already filed in the FSM at the time the Truk State Court was certified will continue to remain within the exclusive jurisdiction of the High Court. Those cases filed after certification are not within the jurisdiction of the High Court. Secretarial Order No. 3039, 5(a).

     There is absolutely no limitation with regard to cases filed after certification of the Truk State Court.

     Since the Truk State Court was certified on April 20, 1984, and since this case was not filed and pending in the High Court on or before April 20, 1984, the Truk State Court, and not the Trust Territory High Court, has jurisdiction over this suit against the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands.

     The Trust Territory Government is not immune from suit in the Truk  State Court because the High Court has overturned the doctrine of sovereign immunity accepted by that Court in the past.  Therefore, consent is no longer required for suit against the Government.  Pilitas v. TTPI, Civ. 18-82 (H. Ct. Tr., Truk, 1984).

CONCLUSION
     The Truk State Court has jurisdiction over this civil action.  Therefore, defendant TTPI's motion to dismiss is hereby denied.

     No costs are assessed against either party.

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